While Tucson is certainly known for the views provided by the Catalina foothills and Saguaro National Park, it’s home to an absolute haven for aviation enthusiasts. The Pima Air and Space Museum, located in southeast Tucson, is one of the largest non-government funded aerospace museums in the world. With an incredible collection stretching across 80 acres, as well as private tours of the “Aircraft Boneyard,” this is a must-see for anyone interested in high-flying history.
For the last forty years, the museum has preserved some of the nation’s most impressive aircraft. Pima Air and Space Museum is comprised of four main hangers containing exhibits and aircraft, as well as an additional 150 planes scattered throughout the grounds in the open air. For instance, the museum houses both the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-29 Superfortress. These four-engine behemoths were crucial bombers that the United States’ relied upon during World War II, with the B-29 continuing on to be used in later military engagements. The museum also has a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the original DC-10 “Flying Hospital.”
Of particular interest is the tour you can take of nearby Davis Mothan Air Force Base’s Aircraft Boneyard. While tickets usually need to be booked long in advance, visitors are able to see thousands of planes, many of which are permanently grounded and are in the process of being stripped for parts. While the planes are cool on their own, the Pima Air and Space Museum also partnered with artists to create The Boneyard Project, in which various planes were painted with incredible designs, transforming the hulls of old aircraft into stunning works of art.
When looking for things to do in Arizona, particularly in the Tucson area, this museum should be at the top of your list. Not only is the museum itself incredible, but it is near some of the greatest natural views that Arizona has to offer. Be sure to look into all the incredible options out there for exploring the wilds of the state. From hiking to driving ATVs to rock climbing, there is something everyone can enjoy here in Arizona.